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Analog to Digital: Washington in Union Square

For the Presidents Day installment of our Analog to Digital series, we have a 1930 photograph by Berenice Abbott showing the famous statue of George Washington in New York's Union Square. This photo is interesting not only because it shows the statue off its distinctive base, but also because the statue was created by American sculptor Henry Kirke Brown. The Amon Carter has several Henry Kirke Brown sculptures in the collection, two of which (The Choosing of the Arrow and Filatrice) are currently on view in our painting and sculpture galleries.

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Berenice Abbott (1898-1991), Washington in Union Square, 1930, Gelatin silver print, Gift of P/K Associates, New York, New York, © Commerce Graphics Ltd, Inc.

The Amon Carter Turns 50 - Mr. Carter's Collection

The Amon Carter has a renowned collection of works by Frederic Remington and Charles Russell. This was Mr. Carter’s legacy he wanted to share with the citizens of Fort Worth. He developed an interest in the work by these two artists through his friendship with Will Rogers. In 1935, shortly before Roger’s tragic death in a plane accident, Carter made his first documented art purchases: a lively Remington oil painting His First Lesson (1903), and a group of nine Russell watercolors.

Frederic Remington (1861–1909), His First Lesson, oil on canvas, 1903
Frederic Remington (1861–1909), His First Lesson, oil on canvas, 1903

Mr. Carter's collection is on view at the museum in our Remington-Russell Study Center, generously funded through a grant by the Justin Foundation. There you will see paintings, works on paper, and sculptures with fascinating insights and information on the art and the artists. You can also view all the works by these two artists in the Amon Carter’s newest online collection guide. Be sure to check out the animated video describing the lost-wax bronze casting method that both artists use to create sculptures. You can also view videos by curator Rick Stewart that discuss three important pieces from the permanent collection.

Analog to Digital: Hearts and Hands

For our continuing Analog to Digital series, a completely unique photograph to celebrate Valentine's Day. Cataloged under our IMLS-funded digitization initiative, this is actually a black-and-white photograph tinted with watercolors. And those little hearts? Foil stickers that you tend to see at this time of year.

Rita DeWitt, Praying Hands Pursuing Flock of Hearts, 1978
Rita DeWitt (b. 1948), Praying Hands Pursuing Flock of Hearts, Gelatin silver print with applied foil labels and watercolor, Gift of the Society for Photographic Education, South Central Region, © 1978 Rita DeWitt

Nature Bound: Days 6 and 7

Yesterday we put the finishing touches on Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books, including applying the vinyl title wall and well as tending to a myriad of other details. This morning the exhibition opened to the public, a few days ahead of its official opening date. Below you see one of the preparators working through the "sticky" process of placing the vinyl on the exhibition's title wall. FYI, I learned that this is the same vinyl that is used for car detailing. The next view shows a very special object in the exhibition: Romeyn Hough's American Woods. Hough spent the good part of his life on this project: he personally collected wood from over 400 species of trees growing in the U.S. to include in what finally came to be fourteen volumes of wood samples and accompanying information. We're showing eight of the wood sample cards in a custom-designed, backlit case, allowing a viewer to study the intricate pattern and color of the wood. The last image shows a section of the finished exhibition installation. All-in-all, I'm pleased. I think visitors will be surprised to find out that between the library collections at the Amon Carter and the Botanic Research Institute of Texas, we have in the cultural district some of the great achievements of botanic illustration.

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2011-01-26 Hough Case.jpg

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Nature Bound: Day 5

Hi there,

Today we nearly finished the installation of Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books. Each object on display has a number that connects it with the related object information and discussion that is printed on the large panels that float above each case. Below you see one of the museum's preparators organizing a "deck" of these numbers. Below that you see the installation of the cut vinyl that makes up the title wall. We're getting close!

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Analog to Digital: Motor Trip to Mesa Verde

For our second installment of Analog to Digital, a new blog series documenting photographs from the Amon Carter's IMLS-funded digitization initiative, we have some very early road trip photos dating back to 1914. These images come from a tourist's photo album called Motor Trip to Mesa Verde and show not only the recently-created national park, but also the perils of driving on unpaved roads.

Unknown artist, Man shoveling mud to free car, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Man shoveling mud to free car], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, Houses destroyed by mudslide, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Houses destroyed by mudslide], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, People with large dog in car, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [People with large dog in car], gelatin silver print, 1914

Unknown artist, Two cars parking in front of cliff dwellings, gelatin silver print, 1914
Unknown artist, [Two cars parking in front of cliff dwellings], gelatin silver print, 1914

Milton Rogovin (1909-2011)

American photographer Milton Rogovin passed away yesterday at the age of 101. An optometrist whose business was ruined by his involvement with the Communist party, Rogovin is known for photographing the working poor in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. [NY Times obituary, and an NPR interview with Rogovin]

The following photographs comprise one of the Rogovin triptychs in the Amon Carter's photography collection and document the life of a Buffalo steelworker over several years.

Milton Rogovin, 1976, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1976 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin

Milton Rogovin, 1976, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1976 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin

Milton Rogovin, 1987, gelatin silver print
Milton Rogovin (1909-2011), 1987 from the series Portraits in Steel, gelatin silver print, ©1999 Milton Rogovin

New Series: The Amon Carter Turns 50 - Happy Birthday!

On January 21, 1961, the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art opened its doors to the public for the first time. The museum was a gift to the people of Fort Worth, a place to see and learn about great works of art. Amon G. Carter made clear that this museum would always be free and open to the public, a policy we still follow today.

Do you remember your first visit to the Amon Carter? Did any exhibits offer special meaning to you? Share your memories with us this year as we look back at our history and look forward to our future. Join the conversation here on our blog, friend us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and help us celebrate.

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Nature Bound: Day 4

Yesterday we made a lot of progress toward installing Nature Bound: Illustrated Botanical Books. All the books are now mounted on their cradles and secured to the cases. All the large information panels are also in place. At the tail end of the day, we started setting the light levels in the space. Since this is an exhibition that includes delicate watercolored images, the lights have to be around 5 foot candles in order to preserve the color. In fact, at about half way through the show, we'll have to switch all the illustrations that have watercolor, so there will be an opportunity to see even more spectacular images. Yesterday we also placed the custom case that will show the fascinating samples of wood from Romeyn Hough's American Woods. The case has backlighting that will allow visitors to study the coloring and patterning of the wood. The case is pictured rather murkily in the bottom right hand corner of the image below.

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New Blog Series: Analog to Digital

Last summer, the Amon Carter was awarded a $150,000 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to digitize and catalog approximately 25,000 photographs from our permanent collection. Work began on the project in the fall, and we are happy to say that we’ve already digitized over 1,000 photographs and cataloged even more. Due to preservation practices and the enormity of our photography collection, these works are exhibited only rarely and many have never been seen by the public.

As the photos are digitized, we’ll post some here on the blog to share with you. Check back often for rarely- and never-before-seen works from the photography collection in posts titled 'Analog to Digital.'

Our first installment comes from one of the first objects digitized under the IMLS grant, an album containing nearly 200 tourist images, all by an unknown photographer, from around the turn of the century. These four pictures just seemed to jump out as I worked on their cataloging.

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Mr. McMasters, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Ballor. Redlands., gelatin silver print, ca. 1900-1910

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Bridge Accident at Tempe, Arizona, 1902, gelatin silver print, 1902

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Tempe, Arizona., gelatin silver print, ca. 1900-1910

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[Pen of ostriches], gelatin silver print, ca. 1900-1910